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Russian, German FMs urge ceasefire in Ukraine to be further maintained

from:新华网2015-09-10 10:49

MOSCOW, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier on Wednesday urged all sides in Ukraine crisis to restrain ceasefire violations.

During a phone call, the two ministers discussed the prospects of a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.

They expressed the satisfaction that the conflicting sides in eastern Ukraine maintained, in general, the ceasefire regime during the past few days.

"They urged Ukrainian sides to take additional steps to consolidate this trend," Russian Foreign Ministry said in an online press release.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak announced that hostilities in eastern Ukraine have fallen in recent days to the lowest level since the outbreak of the conflict in April 2014.

During the phone conversation, Lavrov emphasized the need to persuade Kiev government and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics to coordinate the factors of upcoming local elections in eastern Ukraine.

He also said it is imperative that Kiev carry out a real constitutional reform stipulating and ensuring the special status of Donbass in eastern Ukraine.

Besides the results of recent Contact Group meetings held in the Belarussian capital Minsk, Lavrov and Steinmeier discussed the preparation of a ministerial meeting on Ukrainian crisis, with participation of officials from Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. The quartet meeting is expected to take place in Berlin of Germany sometime at the end of this week.

The Ukrainian Parliament adopted, at first reading held last week, a draft legislation on constitutional amendments for decentralization, designed to give greater autonomy to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the east as part of the Minsk peace plan that was signed in February.

The Parliament's decision sparked controversy in Ukraine with some political forces claiming that it could split the country.

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